Companies need agile structures

Apr 26, 2016

Companies are increasingly feeling the impact of digitization. They have to react to remain competitive. A new study tells how.
More than half of all companies are experiencing fundamental changes in their business models as a result of digitization and the Internet of Things (IoT). To remain competitive in this environment, companies need digitization expertise – but how can they achieve it? Just in time for Hannover Messe 2016, the study "Digitization and the Internet of Things – Demands of Agile Organizations" (German original title: Studie „Digitalisierung und Internet of Things – Anforderungen an agile Organisationen“) by the T-Systems subsidiary Detecon and the Bitkom industrial association provides answers. More than 200 leading IT and business decision-makers from large and medium-sized companies in the German-speaking region were surveyed, and many of the results may surprise you.

Specific recommendations for action

The empirical study examined how business IT is expected to change in the next ten years and, on this basis, describes a vision for a target organization for digital companies and recommendations for its operative implementation. The creation of agile structures is urgent, for example. The study shows that although over 80 percent of those surveyed believe that agile structures are important or very important to the digitization of a company, less than 25 percent of them said that their own companies already use such agile structures.
Establishment of digital responsibilities in companies
A share of just 25 to 50 percent is expected in future.
"In the future, these companies will have to run in two 'operating modes': continuing to provide reliable performance in their core business on one hand, but at the same time also pursue customer-centric innovation and speed, like we know from startups. And agile structures are the only way to achieve this," says Carsten Glohr, Managing Partner at Detecon and expert for digitization strategies, about the results of the study. Therefore, companies must not only establish agility in their processes, but also in their organizational structures, by building connected, cross-departmental digital teams, advises Detecon.

CEO responsibility and headcount growth

The study offered further surprises in the question of responsibility. Contrary to the often-predicted trend toward specialized CDOs (Chief Digital Officers), a clear majority of the survey participants believe that the overall responsibility for planning and implementing IoT projects remains with the CEO, with just partial responsibility by the CIO.
In the opinions of the survey participants, the IoT will not destroy jobs, but instead result in significant headcount growth at companies through new job profiles such as "Big Data Analyst" and "Social Media Manager" and the need for digital expertise. This growth is forecast at up to ten percent annually.